Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
3 Bullet Book: 2020, book #45: “Most of us make unconscious choices in the words that we use; we sleepwalk our way through the maze of possibilities available to us.” — Tony Robbins
Finished on July 6, 2020
I’ve read through this book twice now. The first time was quite impactful, and this time just as much so. The first time that I went through this book I gained a deeper understanding of why many of the things that I was doing throughout my life were working for me. There are different things that each of us do, different disciplines, and different areas that we focus on. Many work, many don’t. This book provided some great insight into what works and why. There are numerous actionable takeaways from this book — which Tony is always so good at providing — and that makes every book more valuable. Tony did a decent job connecting our personal abilities to our Creator, to how God created us. We each have innate and unique abilities and purposes. It’s up to us to move forward and embrace all aspects of ourselves.
The 3 Bullets
1. “With enough emotional intensity and repetition, our nervous systems experience something as real, even if it hasn’t occurred yet.” The most successful people are able to, as Tony Robbins writes, create references even though they have not yet occurred. We might have different goals and desires but this section of the book expounds in a deeper way what it means to feel and experience the success of a goal before it occurs. It’s not enough to simply sit and dream, we must feel. We must imagine and identify what it feels like to be worth $1 million if that’s our goal. We must imagine and identify those things associated with what we are seeking.
2. The power of words was the second main takeaway from this book. It’s essential that we are aware of the words we are communicating outwardly as well as the words we are communicating inwardly to our subconscious. Tony writes, “That’s all you feel, just a little bit annoyed? You must get really angry or upset some of the time.” He said, “Not really. It takes a lot to make that happen and it almost never occurs.” I related to this at a deep level. People ask if I get mad, the answer is no. I no longer get mad, period. It’s very very very rare that I would ever describe myself as mad, angry, stressed, depressed, or other words of that level. Simply changing the language that I used to describe myself has made an impactful difference on my outlook and my behavior. If we all took the time to pause and reflect on the words that we use to describe ourselves and our emotions, we could change the life that we are living.
3. “The great man is he that does not lose his child’s heart.” — Mencius. Tony emphasizes that the joy and spirit of a child is incredibly important when it comes to learning and bettering our lives. We cannot sit around and act as though we know everything already. We must continue to embrace our God-given passions and joys and strive for greatness and growth — that’s how we’ll find fulfillment at greater levels.
Pg. 62, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” — Marcus Aurelius
Pg. 63, Individuals who follow intense physical regimens in order to sculpt their bodies have learned to link tremendous feelings of pleasure to the “pain” of physical exertion. They have converted the discomfort of discipline into the satisfaction of personal growth. This is why their behavior is consistent, and so are their results.
Pg. 72, As a result (of the lowered standards for loans in the late 70s and early 80s), builders built like crazy, causing a glut on the market. When the supply was so much greater than the demand, the market collapsed. Developers went back to the banks and said, “We can’t pay,” and the banks turned to the taxpayers and said, “We can’t pay.” Unfortunately, there’s nobody we can turn to. What’s worse, people have seen the abuse in this country, and the assumption now is that anyone who is wealthy must have taken advantage of somebody. This is creating negative attitudes toward many in business who are often the very people providing jobs that allow Americans’ dreams to flourish. This whole mess illustrates our lack of understanding of the pain-pleasure dynamic and the inadvisability of trying to conquer long-term problems with short-term solutions.
Pg. 83, The strongest and most solid legs (references that support our belief and make our tabletop solid or our belief certain) are formed by personal experiences that we have a lot of emotion attached to because they were painful or pleasurable experiences. The other factor is the number of references that we have a lot of emotion attached to because they were painful or pleasurable experiences. The other factor is the number of references we have — obviously, the more reference experiences supporting an idea, the stronger your belief will be in it.
Because human beings are capable of such distortion and invention, the reference legs we can use to assemble our beliefs are where our references come from, we begin to accept them as real and thus no longer question them!
With enough emotional intensity and repetition, our nervous systems experience something as real, even if it hasn’t occurred yet. Every great achiever I’ve ever interviewed has had the ability to get themselves to feel certain they could succeed, even though no one before them had ever accomplished it. They’ve been able to create references where no references existed and achieve what seemed to be impossible.
Pg. 110, Marva increases her students’ quality of life by using the three organizing principles… she gets them to hold themselves to a higher standard, she assists them in adopting new, empowering beliefs that enable them to break through their old limitations, and she backs all this up with specific skills and strategies necessary for lifelong success.
Finally I asked Talmadge, “What’s the most important thing that Mrs. Collins has taught you?”
“The most important thing Mrs. Collins has taught me is that SOCIETY MAY PREDICT, BUT ONLY I WILL DETERMINE MY DESTINY!”
Pg. 146, The most powerful way to motivate people is through personal development. By helping your employees to grow and expand personally, they begin to feel passionate about life, people, and their jobs. This makes them want to contribute more. They do it out of a sense of personal pride rather than pressure from the outside. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an incentive program; just make sure you have the most powerful incentive of all, which is to help people expand and grow.
Pg. 162, Types of emotions an individual might feel in a week:
You can experience any of these just by changing the way you use your body! You can feel strong, you can smile, you can change anything in a minute just by laughing. You’ve heard the old adage, “Someday you’ll look back on this and laugh.” If that’s true, why not look back and laugh now? Why wait? Wake your body up; learn to put it in pleasurable states consistently no matter what’s happened. How? Create energy by the way you think of something over and over again, and you’ll change the sensations you link to that situation in the future.
Pg. 210, An effective selection of words to describe the experience of our lives can heighten our most empowering emotions. A poor selection of words can devastate us just as surely and just as swiftly. Most of us make unconscious choices in the words that we use; we sleepwalk our way through the maze of possibilities available to us. Realize now the power that your words command if you simply choose them wisely.
Using emotionally charged words can magically transform your own states or someone else’s. (There is power) in changing just one keyword in communicating with someone… and it constantly changes the way people feel — and often the way they subsequently behaved.
Pg. 212, I turned to him and said, “That’s all you feel, just a little bit annoyed? You must get really angry or upset some of the time.” He said, “Not really. It takes a lot to make that happen and it almost never occurs.” I asked him, “Do you remember the time the IRS took a quarter of a million dollars of your money, and it was their mistake? Didn’t it take you two and a half years to get the money back? Didn’t that make you unbelievably angry? My CEO chimed in, “Didn’t it make you LIVID?” He said, “No, it didn’t upset me. Maybe I was a little bit peeved.” Peeved? I thought this was the stupidest word I’d ever heard! I would never have used a word like that to describe my emotional intensity. How could this wealthy and successful businessman go around using a word like “peeved” and still keep a straight face? The answer is, he didn’t keep a straight face! He almost seemed to enjoy talking about things that would have driven me crazy.
(in the margins I wrote RELATABLE)
Pg. 220, If you don’t have a way of representing something, you can’t experience it. While it may be true that you can picture something without having a word for it, or you can represent it through sound or sensation, there’s no denying that benign able to articulate something gives it added dimension and substance, and thus a sense of reality. Words are a basic tool for representing things to ourselves, and often if there’s no word, there’s no way to think about the experience.
Pg. 392, My rule for confidence is, “If I decide to be confident, then I’ll feel that way toward anything, and my confidence will help me succeed.”
Competence is another interesting rule. Some people’s rule for competence is, “If I’ve done something perfectly over a period of years, then I’m competent.” Other people’s rule is, “If I’ve done it effectively once, then I’m competent.” And for others, competence is, “If I’ve done anything like it, then I know I can master this as well, and therefore I’m competent.
Do you see the impact these kinds of rules would have on your confidence, your happiness, your sense of control, the quality of your actions, and your life?
Pg. 495, Once again, your experience of time is controlled by your focus. How do you define your use of time? Are you spending it, wasting it, or killing it? It’s been said that “killing time is not murder; it’s suicide.”
Pg. 498, “The great man is he that does not lose his child’s heart.” — Mencius